Trimeris and Roche are launching a new trial for the HIV drug Fuzeon that not only includes new elements but also requires reduced dosage.
One of the major criticisms of Fuzeon has been the fact it must be injected twice daily.
The new study will examine whether a reduced dosage to once a day will still maintain “undetectable viral load” – or the presence of HIV.
The combination to be tested combines Fuzeon with what the companies called an “investigational integrase inhibitor.” Integrase is an enzyme produced by HIV that helps the HIV infect cells.
Trimeris (NASDAQ: TRMS) stock received no boost from the news, declining 20 cents to $6.52. The stock remains at less than half its 52-week high of $13.85.
The new trial news comes four months after Roche and Trimeris terminate their partnership for development of another HIV drug. That news triggered a sell-off of Trimeris stock. The company also shuffled management at that time, replacing two of its top executives, and laying off several workers.
Larry Hill, Jr. took over as president and chief operating officer of Trimeris on March 15 as part of a management shakeup. The changes included the requested retirements of company co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Dani Bolognesi and Chief Financial Officer Robert Bonczek.
Roche and Trimeris did decide to maintain their partnership in production, promotion and sale of Fuzeon.
Fuzeon is a fusion inhibitor – a drug that works outside of cells and prevents infection.
The study is being conducted in the United States and will enroll at least 238 HIV infected adults who have not been treated with Fuzeon or an integrase inhibitor.